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Most Popular First Dance Wedding Songs of All Time

It's the most romantic day of your life, so be prepared by picking one of the most popular first dance wedding songs to set the perfect mood.

By Jesse KinneyPublished 6 years ago 5 min read

Weddings are now the talk of the town with the Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just being completed. Clichéd as it may be, it is safe to say that love is in the air. While not everyone (okay, anyone) can have a wedding as breathtaking and special as British royalty, it doesn't mean you should slack on yours. I've been to several weddings in the past year or so and what sticks out in my head the most is the receptions, and specifically, the music selection. The music can make or break a wedding reception and no I'm not exaggerating.

You need the perfect mix of modern and classical to keep your crowd excited, awake, and in a loving mood. This all starts with the first dance. In order to set the mood for the rest of the reception and capture a truly special moment with your new spouse, you need to pick the right song. My personal suggestion would be to choose one of the most popular first dance wedding songs to kick the reception off. They are the most popular for a reason; they're guaranteed winners and won't leave a dry eye in the house.

If a bunch of scientists got together in a laboratory and attempted to design the perfect wedding song, "Let's Stay Together" would be the result. I mean, just check out the lyrics:

I, I'm so in love with youWhatever you want to doIs all right with meCause you make me feel so brand newAnd I want to spend my life with you

Endearing lyrics, Al Green's soothing vocals, and a high-quality instrumental performance sound like a winning a formula to me. If that's not enough, just listen some more:

Lovin' you whether, whetherTimes are good or bad, happy or sad

If you're still not convinced, I don't know what to tell you, you may be a robot.

James Taylor had a lot of hits in his day, but only one truly qualifies as one of the most popular first dance wedding songs. "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)" nabs the spot, obviously. The name of the song tells you all you need to know about this romantic, upbeat tune. Chronicling just how great it is to be loved by the one you've chosen, Taylor captures the spirit and joy that every wedding should have.

It was hard choosing just one of Frank Sinatra's songs to include on here but I'm confident in my selection. The second most popular track on Spotify for the legendary crooner, "Fly Me To The Moon" is the perfect selection for professing your love in a timely manner.

Being roughly two and a half minutes, this would be the best pick for those who do not enjoy being in the spotlight for too long, are already a bit too overwhelmed by the day, or for those who just love Sinatra. Whatever the case may be, you can't go wrong with this song; it's one of the best feel-good love songs after all.

Not only is "Stand By Me" one of the most popular first dance wedding songs in existence, it also happens to be my favorite song ever. Yes, the #1 spot on my eternal list is taken by the profoundly talented Ben E. King. The powerful lyrics, soft melody, and smooth sound combine to create a romantic and moving song that has stood the test of time.

It's nice to know I'm not alone with my high regard for this song, as gospel leader Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed an incredibly stirring performance of this song at the royal wedding. Let's face it, if this song is good enough for royalty, it'll do just fine at your wedding reception.

One of the most popular romantic songs ever, it makes sense that Nat King Cole's iconic "L-O-V-E" is one of best wedding songs out there. Starring in enough romantic comedies to deserve its own IMDB page, I first heard this all-time great while watching another certified classic, The Parent Trap. Since that moment, I have been convinced that this has to be on my future wedding playlist, preferably more than once. Has Nat King Cole ever let anyone down with this one? The answer is an emphatic no.

Another one of the most popular first dance wedding songs that is obvious from the title, "Crazy Love"is an all-time great. Arguably Van Morrison's best-known work behind "Brown-Eyed Girl," this song has stayed just as popular as it was when it was released in 1970. It has Morrison's trademark light vocals and captivating lyrics, ensuring that your first experience on the dance floor will be relaxed and full of meaning.

A recent addition to the must-haves on any wedding playlist, Michael Bublé goes straight for the heart and doesn't miss with this one. "Everything" oozes all the lovey-dovey stuff that makes onlookers shake their head (out of jealousy, obviously) and say the clichéd "Get a room!"

Have no fear though, it's your wedding, they are forbidden by law from doing that here! I'm pretty sure it's a law, I'll get back to you on that one. While it is one of the newest members of this club, I assure you it is necessary to have if you're tying the knot. Don't just take my word for it, check out some of the top comments on the YouTube music video for more proof.

The best way I can describe this one is by comparing it to a popular sitcom. If you've ever seen How I Met Your Mother, you'll be able to understand why this song is one of the popular first dance wedding songs. Ted Mosby and fans wait nine long seasons for the mother to arrive, and when she finally does, you feel relief, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment.

That's what Etta James provides with "At Last." As a song about the sweet relief of finally finding the one you want to spend the rest of your life with, this hit should be included at every wedding. James goes in-depth as to how love can change the way you see the world and it is relatable for anyone who has felt the same way about someone. A powerful song for a powerful moment delivered with an incredible voice, there truly was no one like Etta James.

Joining Michael Bublé as one of the newer additions, Jason Mraz has made a career off of memorable songs that could be featured at any wedding. I've decided to go with my personal favorite of his collection, "I Won't Give Up."

Mraz's soft vocals and laid-back guitar are apparent in most of his work but they truly shine on this track. Describing how one should never give up on a loving relationship, even through uncertainty and rough times, what could be better for your first slow dance with your betrothed? I know it's still early since this has been released but I have a feeling this one is here to stay.

Perhaps the greatest of all the most popular first dance wedding songs, it doesn't get any better than "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley. The King of Rock n' Roll ditched the dance moves and fast-paced guitar work that a lot of his songs feature to give us this masterpiece.

This track has been covered by countless famous artists, featured on numerous singing competition shows, and who could forget the Extra Gum commercial? While there have been several versions since Elvis, no one is quite up to par with The King. So pick the original, everyone will be glad that you did.

ceremony and reception

About the Creator

Jesse Kinney

Huge sports fan, primarily hockey and football. Also a big TV and movie fan. Recent Marist graduate writing about whatever interests me!

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  • Jack Evans 2 years ago

    A very good entry

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